The match of the third qualifying round will be played in Kuopio on Thursday, September 24, and the winner will be able to qualify for the group stage against the winner of the match Djurgården (Sweden) – CFR Cluj (Romania).

Such a tasty view KuPS earned by winning the second qualifying round on Thursday with Slovak champion Slovan Bratislava.

– For KuPS, of course, it has financial significance, which is a good thing and places few losses. It is also of wider significance to Finnish club team football, the owner of KuPS Ari Lahti weighs the weight of achievement.

Hard home

As the chairman of the Finnish Football Association, Lahti regrets the bad luck of the Finnish teams, as everyone had to play in the first qualifying round away. Everyone was destined to fall when Honga, Ilves and Inter ended their way in the Europa League and KuPS lost 0-5 to Norway in the first qualifier of the Champions League.

However, the Finnish champions’ Europeans continued in the second qualifying round of the Europa League, where KuPS defeated Slovan Bratislava. The solution came dramatically after the last minute of the overtime leveling in the penalty race, which the Kuopio team won 4–3.

– Here, too, there was a kind of bad luck when we became a very potential opponent of our options, but luckily it became a home game. This time it must be said that we certainly benefited from the home conditions, Lahti times the Slovan match.

– It was a cold, really strong wind and a little more foreign to them, he says, referring to the artificial grass field in Kuopio.

– KuPS was more used to such conditions and managed them better.

“Gives a boost”

In this seam, KuPS’s victory was more than welcome in terms of the image of Suomi-football.

– It’s a bit of the same thing that the Owls have done, Lahti compares.

– Gradually, we have the opportunity to plant a culture of winning in Finnish football. The owls have already shown it with their grip on the League of Nations and the Eurozone qualifiers, and of course such a victory at the club team level will give a significant boost to KuPS and hopefully to the entire Finnish club field.

After the overthrow of Slovan Bratislava, who played in the European League group stage last season, the next Suduva that will not seem shocking in any way.

The match of the third qualifying round will also be played in Kuopio. Due to the schedules messed up by Korona, things are broken again.

– I’m not familiar with the team, the coaching team thinks about it, but basically I would imagine that this is a bit easier in advance. Slovan’s Bratislava team is 5-7 times more expensive than us. I do not quite believe in such proportions with the Lithuanian opponent. In that sense, we are more even, Lahti weighs.

– Fortunately, we have a home game again. During the time that I have been actively involved, KuPS have played in eight euro Kuopio game and never kuopiolaisyleisö not had to leave the corners of the mouth down. There is always either a won match or a survival to the next round.

However, if the magic continues, the home advantage will disappear. The match of the so-called playoff round, to which KuPS would advance with a win, was drawn to be played on 1 October in either Sweden or Romania.

Big money

KuPS will receive a prize money of 280,000 euros from Uefa for their place in the third qualifying round. The profit from Suduva brought another 300,000 euros and access to the block phase as much as 2.92 million euros.

The data is from last season, and Lahti does not yet have precise information on whether the coronavirus pandemic has affected the amounts.

– The picture I have is that they have hardly changed. They come mainly from TV royalties. From KuPS’s point of view, the amounts are significant.

In the normal season, KuPS would set off even bigger pots, but now, according to Uefa’s rules, empty spectators are played and admission revenue remains a dream.

– It is a pity that we cannot produce fun for the people of Kuopio on a larger scale. The ticket revenue for home matches has been quite significant financially. Although we have a small auditorium, the ticket revenue for one match is easily close to one hundred thousand euros, Lahti longs.

Of the Finnish teams, only HJK (in the season 2014–15) has played in the group stage of the Uefa Europa League.